Fated To Be Mine
Copyright © 2015 by Jodie Larson
Cover Design by Murphy Rae at
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media and incident are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
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ID YOU KNOW THE AVERAGE
heartbeat in a normal human being is sixty to one hundred beats per minute? Did you know when your heart does not beat in a regular rhythm it’s considered to be in arrhythmia? Did you know when you leave your heart across the Atlantic Ocean it stops beating altogether?
How do I know this? Because that’s where my heart is, and it has not beat once since yesterday morning, back when everything was still perfect in my life.
The early morning rays of the sun peek in through my bedroom window after another restless night of tossing and turning. I should just give up on sleep altogether because I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since … well, let’s just say it’s been a couple of days. Days that will live vividly in my memory, wanting nothing more than to cherish and relive each one.
I can still feel the warmth of his arms wrapped around my body. Securing me and all my fears with their firm hold. Encasing me with feelings I’ve never felt in all of my twenty-six years on this earth. Andrew Parker, the name that’s etched across the non-working organ in my chest, the man who changed my life and allowed me to feel as if someone out there cares for me.
But like a dream, it’s all just a lie, a fallacy, a passing snapshot into a life that is not mine. The unloved rarely find anything other than pain and isolation. And as I pull myself off my bedroom floor I’ve come to realize that any indication of a happy future is nothing more than a waking dream.
Wrapping the robe around my body, I slowly drag myself into my bathroom, feeling worn out and beaten, even if it’s only my spirit. What I’m unprepared for is the reflection in the mirror staring back at me. A face so worn and sad it no longer looks like my own. The usual pasty white skin has been replaced with giant red blotches, indicating a night of crying myself to sleep. Add that to the dark smudges that ring around my eyes and the tangled mess that is my hair, hanging in knots and looking dull as ever. I could compete for best Halloween monster without even needing a costume.
I can see why Andrew would want nothing to do with me. My hands slam against the mirror, blocking the horrid view of what I have now become. Pain sweeps through my body as Andrew’s memory continues to haunt me. It’s too much to bear and I slowly sink onto the cold tile floor, letting the chill seep into me as I curl myself into a tight little ball.
Why did I tell him I loved him? Why was I stupid enough to think there would be a happy ending for me? More tears fall from my eyes, splashing onto the tiles. The coolness feels good on my heated face and I lie there for what seems an immeasurable amount of time, wallowing in my discomfort and sadness. But I need to move. Lying here isn’t doing me any good so I slowly pick myself up off the floor.
Staggering into the kitchen, I pull random things out of the cupboard, unsure of exactly what it is I’m searching for. The fog is still sitting heavy in my brain, the lead weight still pulling my heart down from where it’s supposed to be. They say time heals all wounds. I guess I need to see if that’s true or not because right now, time is not my friend. With each passing second my thoughts drift to Andrew; wondering what he’s doing or if he misses me. Or worse, if there’s someone else that has already taken my place.
No, I need to stop this line of thinking. I need to put London and everything that happened there behind me, force it into a little box to be kept in the back recesses of my memories. I need a distraction. With a new task at hand, I shuffle to the front door, grabbing the suitcase Chris had left there after he and Kara dropped me off last night. Just another humiliating scene to add to the many others my two friends have endured with me.
Dragging the heavy bag down the hall, my foot catches suddenly on the rug, causing my body to tumble to the ground. My knee hits with a hard thud against the wood floor, sending a new round of pain through my body.
“Just perfect,” I mutter to myself, well aware I am alone and no one is around to help me. I pull myself off the floor and limp my way back to the bedroom, tossing the suitcase unceremoniously onto the bed. Flinging it open, I can’t help but stare at the haphazardly packed clothing, forgetting I had packed in such a rush that nothing was folded and put neatly into place. No, I must not think about this. It’s just clothing. Clothing that needs to be washed and put away in its proper place. And so I begin my chore, sorting out the clothes into piles so I can go wash them later.
Once my bedroom has been brought back to order, I make my way back to the kitchen, placing all the various items back into the cupboard and focus my attention on the coffee pot.
Caffeine. I am in definite need of caffeine.
Leaning my cheek against my folded arms on the counter, I watch the steady stream of life-giving brown liquid pour into the waiting carafe. As I watch the ribbons of liquid flow from the spout, I look at the color and realize it’s the same color as Andrew’s hair. That luxurious dark hair, all thick and expertly styled to look as if he’s just had the fuck of his life. The thought of his sexy bedroom hair has my heart constricting again in my chest as I reach for an available mug, which just happens to be the perfect shade of sapphire blue. In my distracted thoughts, I barely register the scalding liquid falling onto my hand as it splashes over the side while I pour.
“Fuck me,” I mutter, lunging for the sink to put an immediate stream of cold water on the reddening burn. This morning is not going well. I woke up with yet another migraine, courtesy of my never ending dream. Then the floor decided to reach up and grab my foot causing the growing purple mark on my knee. Now there’s a large angry red blotch on my hand. Anything else want to happen this morning?
As if on cue, my phone rings in the living room. Funny, I don’t remember turning it on last night when I came home. Kara must have done that for me, surely so she could call and check up on me today. Lucky me to have my own mother hen to rule my roost. I dampen a towel and wrap it around the burn to keep it cold and answer the call without looking to see who it is.
“Tessa, you’re back.”
Perfect, it’s Sharon. As if second-degree burns and swelling knees weren’t bad enough, let’s throw my stepmother into the mix.
Thank you, fate. You cruel, cruel bitch.
“Hi, Sharon. Yes, I got back late last night. I would have called, but I didn’t want to wake anyone.”
I limp over to my couch and carefully lower myself to avoid hitting both my hand and knee on any unnecessary objects. My eyes close as my head falls back to rest on the cushion, waiting for whatever snide remark Sharon’s about to unleash come my way.
“And we thank you for that. There is definitely no need to wake us for something as minor as you returning from wherever you were. Your father mentioned that he invited you to dinner tomorrow night?”
“Yes. He called me earlier and asked if I wanted to …”
“I am just calling to confirm you are still coming,” Sharon says, cutting me off as if she isn’t really interested in anything that I was saying, which she truly is not.
“Yes, I will be there,” I say meekly.
The rustling of keys in the background and shifting of papers tells me she must be getting ready to head for her weekly spa treatments. Another way for her to waste my father’s money and keep her social status in check. I pinch the bridge of my nose and sigh softly to myself.
“What time would you like me there?” I’m praying it’s an early time because the sooner I can leave that house the better off I’ll be.
“Miriam says she’ll have dinner ready at six o’clock since your father has a rather large case to work on Monday morning.”
“Okay, I’ll be there just before six then.”
She scoffs, causing my shoulders to rise slightly. “Not too much before. It’s only dinner, not some fancy party with invited guests.”
But I was invited
I want to say, knowing that statement will only start another round of insults and arguments. Instead, it stays in my head, where all other thoughts go unspoken when dealing with her.
“Is there anything I can bring?”
A small laugh sounds and it makes me want to cry. “Miriam is taking care of everything. I trust her cooking skills so there’s no need for your contribution.” The beeping of her car door let me know the conversation is about to end. “Try not to be late Tessa. It’s bad form and highly tacky.”